ORTHOPAEDIC SURGICAL CONSULTANTS
Orthopedics, Physical Therapy, & Podiatry located in Merrillville, IN
If you experience an ingrown toenail and it doesn’t get better with at-home treatments, it’s important to seek professional help. Without intervention, your toenail may become infected, increasing the risk of potentially serious complications. At Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants, the board-certified orthopaedic surgeons provide complete care for ingrown toenails. To make an appointment, call the practice in Merrillville, Indiana, or book online today.
Ingrown Toenail Q & A
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the soft skin around it instead of out and away from your toe. Most ingrown toenails resolve on their own. However, if you have diabetes or another condition that affects your circulation, they may increase the risk of complications.
What are the symptoms of an ingrown toenail?
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:
- Toe pain
- Swelling around your affected toenail
- Infection of the skin around your toe
As the condition gets worse, you might also notice pus oozing from your toe.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails occur for various reasons, including:
- Wearing shoes that crowd your toes
- Cutting your nails at an angle
- Cutting your nails too short
- Injuring your toenail
You might also experience an ingrown nail if you have unusually curved toenails.
How is an ingrown toenail diagnosed?
To diagnose an ingrown toenail, your provider at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants has you remove your shoes and socks and examines your toes. If you have red or irritated skin around your nail, it’s likely ingrown. Your provider might also order X-rays to determine how deep the nail reaches into your skin.
How is an ingrown toenail treated?
Treatment of an ingrown toenail depends on various factors, including the severity of your symptoms and if it’s a recurring problem. Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants might recommend:
Lifting the nail
If you have an ingrown nail that’s only slightly red, your provider might lift it. To do that, they place a piece of cotton or dental floss underneath the nail. The lifting encourages it to grow out and away from your toe, relieving the pain and inflammation.
Partially removing the nail
If you have an ingrown nail oozing pus, your provider might recommend removing at least part of it. First, they numb your toe with a local anesthetic. Then, they use special tools to carefully remove the ingrown portion of the nail.
Removing the nail completely
If you regularly experience ingrown nails on the same toe, your provider might recommend removing the nail completely. There are several ways to do that, including laser and chemical methods.
Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to relieve uncomfortable symptoms, restore your mobility, and improve your quality of life.
To explore the treatment options for an ingrown toenail, make an appointment at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants by calling the office or booking online today.